Milwaukee Journal, Sunday, March 6, 1966

Uncombed and Overworked

David McCallum, the Young Man From UNCLE, Is Busier Than Ever

by Leo Guild

David McCallum had just come off the set of "The Man From UNCLE."  It was his one hour lunch break.  He wore a brown, conservative suit, and his shock of blond hair looked uncombed.  His smile was tired.

"Let's eat at the Retake," he said, referring to a little restaurant whose back door led to the MGM parking lot.  "At the studio commissary," he went on, "everyone has 'lookitis' and you don't get any privacy."

We went to the quiet bar.  The waitress called him "David," and they chatted informally about the weather.  He ordered small salad and veal cutlet.

"I don't do many interviews any more because I don't have the time," he said.  "We try to fit in the 'do or die' interview -- just the 'must' stories.  I won't do any fan magazine interviews at all. They use headlines like 'What four letter word did David McCallum whisper in a teenager's ear?"  Then when you read the article it's some innocent nonsense.  I think the American fan magazines are greatly responsible for the image Europeans have of Americans.  These magazines should be banned."

We told McCallum that there was talk of his becoming an American citizen.  The actor thought a while.

"It's like this," he said.  "Leo G. Carroll has been in this country 40 years and he's still a British citizen.  At the moment I see no reason why I should change my citizenship.  It's not a question of loyalty.  It's economically more sound.  That doesn't mean I'm going to machine gun all Americans on the White House steps. I love England and I love America, too."

We discussed his busy life in show business.  He did the recent Carol Channing and Roger Miller television specials.

"Did you know I did an album?" he asked.  "It's sold 150,000 copies already.  The title is 'Music -- A Part of Me.'  I don't sing.  It's just good music with me calling the beat.  I'm going to New York soon just to promote the album.  I love good music."

On Mar. 14 he finishes making the season's quota of "Man From UNCLE," and the next day he leaves for Rome where he will star in "Three Bites of the Apple" with Italian actress Sylvia Koscina.  He'll shoot there for two months and then go right back into next season's "UNCLE" series.  No time off.

However, "I'll travel a lot on weekends fanning out from Rome.  I have some appointments to keep in London and Paris."

He's looking forward to his European trip and the break in routine.  The family -- his wife, actress Jill Ireland, and children Paul 7, Jason 3, and Valentine 2 -- will stay in Hollywood.  Miss Ireland, with two friends not in entertainment, are opening an art gallery in Beverly Hills called Art Actually.  She will show her paintings there.  Because of the gallery and school problems for the oldest boy, McCallum will travel alone.

Looking back on his tremendous success, McCallum says, "I really don't live much differently except that we save more money.  In Los Angeles no one bothers me.  I can move around freely.  Out of town, I have problems."

Crowds have crushed him at airports and stations.  Police protection is necessary wherever he goes.

I asked what his interests were outside his career. He said:

"I think making television films is an insignificant business.  It's a job and not a very demanding one.  I'm interested in psychiatry.  I have a friend who is a psychiatrist who has just recommended some good books to me on the subject.  I am interested in the new theory that in curing neurosis, or worse, it is not important what causes the trauma.  Rather, it's more important to treat the trauma.  If after analysis a patient himself discovers the cause, that's all right.  I am interested in existentialism too.  I read a lot on a variety of subjects -- on weekends, of course."

There was a time when the only thing that he asked for from one week to another was a job.  Now what he wants is for some special event to pre-empt his "UNCLE" show so that some of the production pressure is taken off.  A pre-emption means they have to do one less show.

There has been all sorts of talk about feuds and arguments with his co-star, Bob Vaughn.  McCallum vehemently denies it.  In fact he said he believed that in time Vaughn would hold a high political office, that his speeches were "beautiful."  Both talk highly of each other to the press.

Asked whether he has ever tried to analyze his immense popularity, he says he hasn't.  He's just grateful to have it.

"I came up the long, hard way," he explains, "so it's no big surprise."

The Scotsman started as an electrician in a London theater and was a lieutenant in the British army.  About the future, he says, "I want to make some motion pictures and also to spend more time to myself."